I haven't taught for several years but I had a business issue passed my way which has resulted in much debate. A letter was received that contained the following sentence:
'A copy of this letter should be given to each Warehousekeeper where x hold an account and/or intend to store excise goods'
English is not the first language of the recipient. It was intended that the letter was supposed to instruct x to inform the warehouses, however I, and the warehouses, have argued that 'should' is more advisory, perhaps MUST would have been more suitable, and no agent is identified in the sentence, it is merely assumed. I would really appreciate any advice as I haven't taught TEFL for some time. Thanks in advance for any advice.
It's clear to me that the writer of the letter expects that each warehouse will receive a copy of it. Not that it is merely his "advice" that they should.
If I were to advise one of my subordinates that they "should' do something, I would expect them to do it, not to argue about whether my English was proper.